Hate to be the realist but given our background in finance, it seems unlikely that it is going to continue. No one knows exactly how much they actually spent on the program but the high end was $3.6M. For a subsidiary that has absolutely no revenue its a bit absurd to make that sort of investment and get nothing back. Generous for creators yes, but absurd from a business standpoint.
Webtoons is now looking to incorporate ads which indicates that, for the first time, they recognize that they need revenue. They also became their own company.
"As of May 1st of 2017, LINE Webtoon’s service provider switched from Naver Corporation to a newly incorporated company, Naver Webtoon Corporation."
This is the biggest concern of all because they're no longer a direct subsidiary of Naver but their own spin off. Naver Webtoon Corp (NWC) is now going to have its own set of books and P&L. It shows a slow separation of the two entities and the distinct possibility that NWC is going to start having to balance their books, which looks impossible based off ads alone, even with 10M daily users. Assuming 7 pages per user, and $.20 CPM, and 30% ad block, that's only a daily revenue of $9,800.
With a staff they have to pay first, followed by server costs, then their exclusive series, there isn't enough to go around to keep the Patreon pledge program going.
Maybe NWC is going to start doing a subscription model for their exclusive series. And there's been no talk about giving 70% of ad revenue to creators like what Tapas is doing.
Third-party stats just came out for July. Webtoons is only beating Tapas now in terms of total website views which were down 4.29% from June. Tapas is up 16.29% over June. Tapas is also doing 9.11 PVs per visit vs. Webtoons 6.88. Bounce rates with both are similar 41.1% to 39,4%.
What Tapas has going for it is rapid growth and a sustainable platform. Webtoons has flat growth and currently an unsustainable platform. Sure it has a huge lead in terms of population/readership size but Tapas is slowly grinding into that lead. In a horse race you aren't paid at the quarter pole, you're paid at the finish line. Right now we like the way Tapas is headed more so than its current competitors.
In business you have to take calculated risks. We have all our promotion pointing towards our mirror on Tapas because it seems, at this time, the horse most likely to win the webcomics race.